Find out what are the causes of the cracked heels and discover effective remedies to cure and prevent this common feet affection.

Find out what are the causes of the cracked heels and discover effective remedies to cure and prevent this common feet affection.

The cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common condition characterized by the appearance of dry and squamous skin around the edges of the heel. This condition can cause discomfort, pain and even bleeding in severe cases. There are several factors that contribute to the appearance of heels, such as inappropriate feet care, certain medical conditions and environmental factors.

The lack of feet hygiene is one of the main causes of the cracks on the heels. To neglect the usual feet care practices, such as hydration, exfoliation and the use of proper footwear, can cause dry skin. In addition, excessive exposure to water, especially to hot water, can strip the skin of its natural oils, further aggravating the problem. People who spend many hours standing or walking, such as health personnel or manual workers, are especially prone to cracks on their heels due to the greater pressure that the feet support.

In some cases, underlying diseases can contribute to the appearance of cracks on their heels. A conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and psoriasis can cause skin dryness and circulation problems, making the skin more prone to crack. Obesity can also influence, since excess weight exerts additional pressure on the feet, which causes calluses and fissures.

Causes of Crack Heels: Lack of Moisture

One of the main causes of the lack of hydration of the skin is the loss of natural oils and water surface water. This may be due to various factors, such as adverse climatic conditions, excessive bathrooms with hot water and the use of aggressive soaps or cleaners that strip the skin of their natural oils. In addition, some diseases such as diabetes, psoriasis and hypothyroidism can also contribute to the dryness of the skin and the appearance of cracks on their heels.

Important information:

  1. Heel cracks may be due to the lack of skin hydration.
  2. The dry and thick skin of the heels is more prone to crack.
  3. The loss of natural oils and water from the skin surface can cause dryness.
  4. Adverse climatic conditions, excessive baths and certain medical conditions can contribute to lack of hydration.

Excessive Pressure on the Feet

The cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are vertical clefts or cracks that develop in the skin of the heels. They can be painful and antistnetic, and make walking and standing uncomfortable. Although there are many factors that contribute to the appearance of cracks on the heels, excessive and prolonged pressure on the feet is one of the main causes.

  • One of the main reasons for excessive pressure on the feet is overweight or obesity. Excess body weight exerts additional pressure on the feet, which increases pressure on the heels.
  • Inappropriate footwear can also contribute to excessive feet pressure. Shoes too tight, narrow or without adequate damping can increase pressure in specific areas, including heels.
  • Long standing periods or walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete or tile soils, can subdue continuous pressure at their feet, which causes the appearance of cracks on the heels.

Excessive pressure on the feet can cause the skin of the heels to swell and lose elasticity, making it more prone to crack.

The care of the feet and the prevention of excessive pressure are vital to maintain the general health of the feet. Proper footwear, periodic hydration and rest of prolonged activities in which weight is supported are some of the essential measures that can be taken to reduce pressure on the feet and prevent cracked heels.

Overexposure to Harsh Weather Conditions

Prolonged the cold exposure can cause the skin of the feet to lose moisture and dehydrate. In addition, when external humidity in the form of rain or snow comes into contact with our feet, it can exacerbate dryness and cause cracks on the skin. On the other hand, excessive heat and sun exposure can also be harmful to the skin of our feet. The intense heat of the sun can dry out and crack the skin, especially if adequate hydration and protection measures are not taken.

It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect our feet from extreme climatic conditions. The use of appropriate footwear that provides adequate insulation and support can help protect our feet from hard cold or hot surfaces. Applying a cream or moisturizer can help keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness. It is also recommended to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or extreme cold, and keep your feet covered and protected when necessary.

  1. Use proper footwear
  2. Apply coat or moisturizing lotion regularly
  3. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or extreme cold
  4. Keep your feet covered and protected when necessary

Nutritional Deficiencies: An Essential Cause of Cracked Heels

1. Lack of omega-3 fatty acids: A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce, can contribute to the dryness and crack of the skin. These fatty acids help keep the skin moisture barrier and favor their hydration. Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), linen seeds and nuts, can help prevent cracks and improve the general health of the skin.

“Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in the maintenance of skin health and dryness prevention. Including foods rich in omega-3 in your diet can help fight cracked heels.”

2. Vitamin and insufficient: an inadequate intake of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, can reduce the ability of the skin to retain moisture and repair itself. Vitamin E helps protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and favors collagen production, essential to maintain skin elasticity. Incorporating foods rich in vitamin E, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach and avocados, you can improve the general status of the skin and prevent the formation of cracks in the heels.

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids:
    • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel)
    • Linen seeds
    • Walnuts
  2. Foods rich in vitamin E:
    • Almonds
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Spinach
    • Avocados

In addition, the lack of other essential vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and vitamin C, can also contribute to the appearance of cracked heels. It is essential to carry a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, to meet the nutritional needs of the organism. In addition, hydrating the feet regularly and wearing proper footwear can complement a nutritious diet to prevent and relieve cracked heels.

Skin Conditions

1. Eccema: Eccema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that is characterized by the appearance of inflamed, red spots and with itching in the skin. It usually appears in childhood and can persist until adulthood. The exact cause of the eczema is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Among the most common triggers are irritating (such as soaps or strong detergents), allergens (such as pollen or pet dandruff) and certain foods. Eccema symptoms can be controlled by moisturizing the skin, avoiding triggers and using prescribed topical medications or creams.

Data: Eccema affects approximately 15-20% of children and 1-3% of adults worldwide.

2. Psoriasis: psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to accumulate rapidly on the surface of the skin. This leads to the formation of thick and silver scales and red and inflamed spots, often accompanied by itching or burning sensation. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed that it implies a combination of genetic factors, the immune and environmental system. Psoriasis can be triggered or exacerbated by certain factors, such as stress, infections, skin lesions or certain medications. Although psoriasis has no cure, various treatments can help control symptoms and reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

Data: psoriasis affects approximately 2-3% of the world’s population, and both men and women are equally susceptible.

Comparison of common skin diseases
Condition Cause Symptoms Treatment
Eczema Genetic and environmental factors Inflamed, red and itching patches on the skin Hydration, avoid triggers, medications
Psoriasis Autoimmune disorder with genetic factors, of the immune and environmental system Thick scales, red spots, itching or burning sensation Various treatments to control symptoms

Improper Footwear Choices

One of the most common problems derived from the use of inappropriate shoes is the appearance of cracks in the heels. The cracked heels, medically known as heel fissures, occur when heel skin becomes dry and thick, which makes it open. This condition not only has an unstretched aspect, but can also be painful and give rise to complications if it is not.

Adequate footwear is essential to prevent and treat cracked heels. Shoes that do not provide adequate support and damping can exacerbate existing cracks or contribute to the formation of new ones. In addition, the use of open shoes or sandals without adequate support can increase pressure on the heel and cause dryness and cracks on the skin.

When choosing footwear, it is essential to give priority to comfort, subjection and functionality over style. Opt for shoes that fit well at the foot, making sure they offer an appropriate arch and damping. Avoid shoes too tight or too comfortable, as they can cause friction and feet pressure, which could cause cracks.

  • Choose shoes made of breathable materials to allow air circulation and avoid excessive sweat, which can contribute to dryness.
  • Consider the possibility of opting for shoes with adjustable straps or cords to customize the adjustment and provide stability.
  • Use moisturizing creams specifically formulated for cracked heels, in order to keep the skin hydrated and avoid greater dryness.

Choosing footwear with knowledge of cause and giving priority to feet health can reduce the risk of cracks on the heels and other feet problems. Investing in quality footwear and practicing good feet care habits can greatly contribute to maintaining the health and general wel l-being of the feet.

Aging and Reduced Natural Oil Production

One of the main functions of natural oils produced by our skin is to hydrate and lubricate, providing a protective barrier that helps retain moisture and prevent dryness. As sebum production decreases, the skin becomes more susceptible to dryness and loses its ability to effectively retain moisture. The skin of the heels, which already has less natural sebaceous glands compared to other areas of the body, is specially affected by these changes.

In the aging process, there is a decrease in sebum secretion, natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands. This decrease can cause various skin problems, such as dryness, itching and cracks.

  • The hormonal changes that occur with age influence sebum production.
  • In addition, external factors such as exposure to strong soaps, hot water and dry climates can further aggravate the reduction of natural fat production.
  1. Without sufficient natural fat, the skin of the heels becomes dry, rough and less flexible.
  2. As a result, the skin can be crazy under pressure, especially when walking or standing for prolonged periods.
Causes of aging and the reduction of natural oil production
1. Hormonal changes
2. Environmental factors
3. Genetic predisposition

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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